Electronic Spying and Tracking Spouses in Divorce Cases: What's Legal in the Digital World?

Navigating Admissibility and Privacy Issues With Social Media, Smartphones, Spyware, GPS Trackers, and More

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare family law attorneys to identify and manage legal issues that arise when a spouse obtains evidence through the use of electronic or telephonic interception, smartphones, spyware, GPS tracking devices, webcams, wiretaps, or other methods.


It’s an increasingly common dilemma for divorce practitioners: Clients come in with potentially great evidence, a virtual smoking gun. However, if it was obtained through telephone interception, spyware, GPS trackers, smartphones, webcams and unauthorized use of social media accounts, how can counsel handle the inherent legal hurdles?

Counsel must consider a number of key issues: Number one—can you use the evidence? Has your client violated federal or state law? Will they need to take the Fifth Amendment if deposed?

When your client presents you with potentially illegally obtained evidence, what are the legal ethics implications for you as an attorney?

Listen as our panel of family law attorneys and a computer technology expert analyzes the current (and ever-evolving) state of legal affairs when husbands and wives spy on one another in a contentious situation.



  1. Overview of federal and state statutes
    1. Wiretapping
    2. Privacy
    3. Computer crimes
    4. Webcam law
    5. GPS laws
  2. Types of interception and compromise
    1. Social media accounts
    2. Smartphones
    3. Computers
    4. Spyware
    5. GPS tracking
    6. Webcams
  3. Civil and criminal implications


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How do the federal statutes governing interception of electronic and telephonic communications impact evidence of spousal misconduct that is obtained by a client in a divorce case?
  • What factors can guide counsel in determining whether the evidence can or should be used?
  • What are the implications for clients and counsel with respect to improper self-help surveillance evidence?
  • How should practitioners approach “smoking gun” evidence that may have been illegally obtained?


Henry S. Gornbein
Henry S. Gornbein

Lippitt O’Keefe Gornbein

Mr. Gornbein practices in all areas of family law. He is a monthly contributor to the Michigan Family Law Journal, has...  |  Read More

Sean L. Harrington, J.D., CISSP, CHFI, MCSE, CSOXP, CCFP
Sean L. Harrington, J.D., CISSP, CHFI, MCSE, CSOXP, CCFP

Digital and Computer Forensics Examiner
Attorney Client Privilege

Mr. Harrington is an experienced digital forensics examiner with twenty years of experience in corporate fraud, labor...  |  Read More

Larry Dalman
Larry Dalman
Dalman Investigations

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